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My first plea to PigletJohn

(19 Posts)
Tinkerisdead Fri 14-Apr-17 10:02:53

I'm hoping someone (esp PigletJohn) can help me and isnt on an Easter egg hunt.

I've lived in my 1973 house for six days. The heating only works if the hotwater is on. No problem I think, Ive seen this a ton of times and try to locate the three way/diverter valve to switch to manual until I can get a plumber after Easter.

Except the boiler is THAT old I cannot figure it out. It's like the stuff of nightmares and horror films a furnace out to kill me!

Can anyone figure this out? There are no valves to the hotwater cylinder. Its just pipes into it the only valves/attachments are to the boiler itself. This box looks like it could be a primitive version, a two way valve maybe? Theres a screw point to "regulate" on it, would this be worth messing with?

I'm hoping my pictures upload now...

dilapidated Fri 14-Apr-17 10:55:57

Wowee! That's a museum piece.

Hope pigketjohn or someone else in the know is along soon to help,

thecapitalsunited Fri 14-Apr-17 11:29:21

My heating only works if the hot water is on but that is the way its supposed to work. Are you sure yours isn't supposed to work the same way?

PigletJohn Fri 14-Apr-17 12:04:53

is it a glow-worm?

show us the pipes round the cylinder, and any other visible pipes. I expect there will be some going upwards from the boiler.

show us the point where the large heating pipes enter the cylinder, especially the one near the bottom.

What are the ill effects of having the HW on during the CH heating hours?

Show us your programmer/timer.

don't tinker with the control at the side of the boiler. Only the panel at the top is meant for the homeowner.

Tinkerisdead Fri 14-Apr-17 12:43:54

Yes it's a glowworm. Theres a thermostat at the top of the panel. The cylinder is tricky to get to because its ancient and in a jacket. The control panel looks new. Let me see if im permitted to add more photos..

Tinkerisdead Fri 14-Apr-17 12:47:17

The best i can take of the cylinder without taking the jacket off yet. The control panel; the hot water and heating are both switched on. The heating only works if the hotwater is on. Any other combinations wont work.

Tinkerisdead Fri 14-Apr-17 12:48:47

Ive seen enough of your replied PJ to know you may ask me what colour the cylinder is...copper!

Tinkerisdead Fri 14-Apr-17 12:51:57

Theres no issue as such to have heat and hot water other than all the radiators come on with the hotwater which isnt ideal on a day like last sunday when it was scorchio anyway and the "heating" was on with the water.

I should add that we knew we would need a new boiler when we boughtbthe house and I well be posting to quiz you on whether i want a new cylinder/combi or megaflo when i replace this ancient relic!

Tinkerisdead Fri 14-Apr-17 12:54:47

I cant show you any vertical pipes from the boiler itself its housed in a box with the pipes channelled into the wall by the looks of it

ForTheSakeOfFuck Fri 14-Apr-17 12:56:03

Bloody hell, that looks like a Soviet-era piece of artillery. Does it fire tiny rockets??

<misses point spectacularly>

PigletJohn Fri 14-Apr-17 17:03:00

as expected, it looks like you have a Gravity (convection) supply to the cylinder, meaning that heat from the boiler rises to it by heat convection alone and no pump. That is typical for the age. It may be rather slow to heat after a bath.

It's possible to convert these to fully pumped, so that you can have HW and CH at different times. Depending on the distance and route between boiler and cylinder that might cost from a few hundred upwards. If the cylinder starts to leak and you change if for a modern (bigger) one, that would be a good time. You can put a second red jacket on it to improve the insulation, you will recover the cost in a few months. Also lag as many of the hot pipes as you can reach. You may have to order 28mm Climaflex from a plumbers merchant as it is not usually stocked in DIY sheds.

If you are doing anything to the system, it is always worth giving it a chemical clean. This is an easy and inexpensive DIY job. The pipes and boiler are pretty sure to be clogged with old sludge and sediment of iron oxide and will be improved by reducing it. Your system is very simple and durable and might last another hundred years without many repairs. Changing it for a modern new one will cost more than you save in efficiency improvements. Find yourself an experienced local engineer.

Let's see a closeup of the joint where the 28mm pipe goes into the lower part of the cylinder.

PigletJohn Fri 14-Apr-17 17:07:01

Tinkerisdead Fri 14-Apr-17 17:12:30


PigletJohn Fri 14-Apr-17 17:16:22

or have two and throw away that tatty one

Tinkerisdead Fri 14-Apr-17 17:16:47

Does this mean that I'm right, the hot water needs to be clicked on for the heating to work? That's expected?

The house is a three bed, one bath. There's an electric thermostatic shower (coming off the cylinder? I think) In time we're looking to create a utility and a new bedroom with ensuite so I need it to be able to cope with an extra shower at some point. I do know a good plumber so I'll contact them. The EPC noted the age of the boiler, the cylinder having no thermostat for water temp and that there are no TRV's on the radiators.

PigletJohn Fri 14-Apr-17 17:18:13

'mmmm no Cyltrol or Tapstat, even simpler than I expected.

PigletJohn Fri 14-Apr-17 17:22:30

you are right, there is no sign of temperature control on the cylinder (my reason for asking for the extra photos), so the boiler temp (that big knob on the front panel near the top) needs to be set round about 60C. It can be added if/when you convert it to fully pumped. Test the tapwater with a thermometer to verify that the boiler temperature control is working.i

Is it a Glow Worm?

PigletJohn Fri 14-Apr-17 17:27:29

the controller for that design of system usually has the capacity to turn on HW, or HW & CH, but has a switch so you can't ask for CH only (it wouldn't be able to do it anyway). If the cylinder and pipes are properly insulated it won't matter much that HW comes on.

There should be a room stat to turn the CH pump off to prevent the radiators getting very hot, but there will be heat leakage to upstairs radiators when boiler is HW On. You can turn the upstairs radiators off on their knobs in summer (not with great force please).

Tinkerisdead Fri 14-Apr-17 18:54:53

Wow Im so grateful for the help and advice. We've rented for years and so to finally have our own home yet not be able to just call a landlord is overwhelming. Im genuinely bowled over at the lengths you've gone to advise me thankyou.

Yes it is a Gloworm. The thermostat on the actual boiler is set at 140 but the room stat (in the lounge - satchwell) is in farenheit so I assume the boiler will be too. If Im right in converting this would be around 60c.

The radiators incidentally are all extremely hot when the heating is working. Good to know that I can turn them off.

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